7.5 Degree secures seed funding from East Ventures
By Digital News Asia May 8, 2019
- Funds will be used to hire more local journalists from Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore
- Offers news on the SEA internet economy, fintech, logistics e-commerce sector
7.5 DEGREE, a Southeast Asian New Economy Information and Service Platform, announced on May 8 that it has secured an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures, an early-stage venture fund in Southeast Asia.
The investment will accelerate 7.5 Degree’s mission to be the most accurate compass for new economy explorers in the region and enable the startup to bring more local journalists on board - especially from Indonesia, Vietnam, and Singapore.
“Go Overseas” has become a catch phrase among China’s investors and entrepreneurs. Players however, are often obstructed by limited information about Southeast Asia’s internet economy due to the language differences.
7.5 Degree’s founders, Li Yufu and Lin Xibang, saw the need to bridge the two regions, given how Southeast Asian markets are booming and the rising wave Chinese investors and entrepreneurs going overseas.
The two founded 7.5 Degree straight after they graduated from Nanyang Technological University. Serving primarily as a Chinese-language media, the company positioned itself as the Southeast Asia New Economy Information and Service Platform.
Li Yufu, the CEO of 7.5 Degree, explained that the company’s name, “alludes to the glorious achievements by Zheng He, a great Chinese mariner, explorer, diplomat and fleet admiral who commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, Western Asia and East Africa in the early 15th century. They said the minimum calibration on the compass which guided Admiral Zheng’s navigation was 7.5 degree.”
7.5 Degree media made its debut in Singapore in September 2017. Since then, the company has served both Chinese and SEA tech-players with over 350 Chinese language articles, covering the Internet economy in Southeast Asia, the fintech and logistics sectors in Indonesia, as well the e-commerce sector in Thailand and Vietnam.
The company distributes their articles via multiple channels such as, WeChat and has become a major news resources for Chinese media.
The company also aims to bridge the two regions by serving more than just news and market insights. In December 2018, 7.5 Degree launched Invmall, a new service intended to promote bilateral interaction between Southeast Asian and Chinese tech-players.
The platform provides “Link-up” services by putting startups in Southeast Asia in touch with investors in China (and vice versa) via email or WhatsApp. It also allows users to find all key information about their potential partners.
“There are very few service providers catering to the fundraising needs of local early-stage startups. If we can help the entrepreneurs to secure early funding from institutional investors, either from China or Southeast Asia, it will allow them a greater chance to grow and thrive,” says 7.5 Degree co-founder and chief executive officer Li Yufu.
To further promote collaboration and communication between China and Southeast Asia among investors and entrepreneurs, the company regularly organises “SEA-Commerce Summits” in major cities such as, Singapore, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok, and Jakarta. The next event will take place in Jakarta on May 17, 2019. More than 200 players from SEA and China will be present for a panel discussion which will include East Ventures partner Melisa Irene.
According to e-Conomy SEA 2018 jointly published by Google and Temasek, the market size of the Southeast Asian internet economy is on track to exceed US$240 billion by 2025. The e-commerce, ride-hailing, fintech, and logistics sectors are evolving every second. Investment firms from Japan, China, and the Middle East are actively looking for the next unicorns.
7.5 Degree will tailor its services to better meet the demands of both investors and entrepreneurs via its Media, Tech Venture Community and acceleration services.
East Ventures managing partner Willson Cuaca, says, "We haven't seen a dedicated SEA/China news site like 7.5 Degree before. They bridge the two markets and bring the best news of this region to China. They will be the tool for the Chinese to navigate SEA as how Admiral Zeng He used the 48 directions compass to navigate the ocean and sailed to SEA. We feel privileged to support them and looking forward to showcasing the best of SEA."
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